SUNDAY May 21, 2017
Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise. - Nehemiah 5:13
Nehemiah was very expressive in the way he addressed the leaders and priests. Through his action of shaking out his garment, he basically told them, “If you do not keep your word, may God judge you, and shake you out like this garment!” He wanted them to understand that God would empty them––they would lose everything. The Lord touched the leaders hearts and they agreed with Nehemiah. They saw Nehemiah was for real––he meant what he said.
When Jesus sent out his twelve disciples to the spiritually lost people of Israel, He told them to tell the people, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In Jesus’ name they would heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and even raise the dead (Matthew 10:5-7). Jesus Christ was the people’s Messiah. He could either be accepted or rejected. The disciples were instructed to act in accordance to the people’s response:
If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet (Matthew 10:13-14).
Those who foolishly reject the Gospel message will remain empty and lost, without God’s salvation. If they stay unrepentant they will face eternal judgment, even worse than Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15).
When offered God’s free gifts of salvation do you reject it or accept it?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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